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Twilight: You have no idea what the Princess is gonna do when she finds out you're the one who took her pet, do you?
Fluttershy: Do you?
Written by Charlotte Fullerton
Princess Celestia is at Sugarcube Corner for brunch, and Twilight Sparkle and her friends are all supposed to be there. Fluttershy, however, is running late due to her nursing yet another woodland creature back to health. Twilight is over-anxious today, seeing as this is the first chance the Princess will have to really get to know her friends, and the rest of the mane cast aren't faring much better: Rainbow Dash tries to get a reaction out of the stoic, intimidating royal guards, Rarity is freaking out about anything potentially staining her dress, Applejack has trouble remembering her table manners, and Pinkie Pie's being... well... Pinkie Pie.
Despite all this, Celestia seems to be taking the whole event in stride, even finding a chance to pull a lighthearted prank. Also, Celestia didn't arrive alone today, as she brought her pet bird, Philomeena, along. Fluttershy notices that the bird seems to be really, really sick. When Celestia has to leave early due to the mayor of Ponyville wanting to see her, Fluttershy, unseen by anyone, decides to take the creature home in order to take care of it.
As it turns out, taking care of the bird is easier said than done. Philomeena doesn't go along with Fluttershy's usual regimen of medicine, hot soup, and bedrest, and all her alternative treatments don't seem to make any difference, either. With such a stubborn and rapidly-declining patient, everything looks hopeless for Fluttershy. Twilight stops by Fluttershy's cottage and immediately panics when she sees Philomeena, convincing Fluttershy that she could be severely punished for stealing the Princess' pet. They're about to return the bird before anyone notices she's missing, but the royal guards show up at the door, informing the ponies that the royal pet is missing and that they're on the lookout for her.
After the guards leave, Twilight tells Fluttershy they can't return Philomeena now, and she tries to help her get Philomeena better, this time with a little "tough love"...which means shoving medicine down the patient's throat, putting a cone on her so she doesn't pick at her feathers, and putting a blanket over her birdcage to make her go to sleep. During an attempt to force-feed Philomeena a hot bowl of soup, however, the bird escapes, leaving Twilight and Fluttershy in hot pursuit. The chase goes all over town, until finally, the two ponies catch up with Philomeena, who looks about ready to keel over. And she does, in fact, falling to the ground and… bursting into flames.
With nothing but a pile of ashes where Philomeena used to be, and the Princess approaching the distraught ponies, Twilight prepares to take the blame. However, Fluttershy intervenes, and confesses taking Philomeena in the hopes of nursing her back to health. Princess Celestia briefly mourns her pet, before suddenly perking up and telling Philomeena to snap out of it, saying that she's scaring everypony. Immediately, a magnificent, fire-colored bird rises from the ashes and flies around the ponies. Turns out Philomeena's a phoenix, and her sickness and bursting into flames are just a natural part of her life cycle. However, that doesn't really excuse her Jerkass behavior towards Fluttershy, so the Princess makes her apologize. Celestia also forgives Fluttershy for taking Philomeena, but points out she could have avoided all of this by simply asking to take care of her. With the lesson learned, the episode ends on a happy note… but not before Rainbow Dash takes advantage of Philomeena's mischievous nature by convincing her to tickle the royal guards.
- Absentee Actor: Spike appears at the party so Twilight can talk to him, but receives no lines.
- Aside Comment
Fluttershy: Always works.
- Audible Sharpness: With the wings of Celestia's guards as they block Fluttershy.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Twilight Sparkle claims that as punishment for taking Princess Celestia's pet bird, Fluttershy could be banished from Equestria, thrown into a dungeon, or banished from Equestria and then thrown into a dungeon in the place she was banished to.
- British Royal Guards: They're not British, but Rainbow Dash does have some fun with Princess Celestia's guards.
Rainbow Dash: Ooo... you're good. (Beat) Too good, I'm bored.
- Doomed New Clothes: Successfully Defied Trope by Rarity when she wears her new Pimped-Out Dress to the brunch.
"Nobody move, and my dress won't get hurt!"
- Epic Fail: Subverted with Fluttershy's attempt to heal Philomeena, who only gets worse until she spontaneously combusts… But of course that was just the whole normal phoenix thing, and she gets better.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending
- Expressive Hair: Twilight's tail when she finds Celestia's guards are looking for Philomeena.
- Face Paw: Angel, when Fluttershy keeps popping back in.
- Twilight facehoofs when she realizes Fluttershy stole Philomeena.
- Friendly Tickle Torture: At the end of the episode, Rainbow Dash convinces Philomeena to tickle the guard-pegasi's noses to get them to laugh.
- GASP: Mr. and Mrs. Cake when Pinkie Pie noisily eats some of the sweets meant for Princess Celestia, and later while Twilight is panicking about Fluttershy taking Philomeena without permission.
- Gross Up Close-Up
- Hilarious in Hindsight: After "A Canterlot Wedding," Twilight's desperation during the comic chase to avoid the guards also looking for the bird takes on an amusing weight; she must have known that if they arrested her, her brother, Shining Armor, the Captain of the Guard, would surely hear about it and put him in a really awkward position if he has oversee processing her in Canterlot, to say nothing of the embarrassment she would have in that situation.
- Hostage Situation: Parodied. "Stay right where you are! All I want is a clear path to the exit. Nobody move, and my dress won't get hurt!" (It's not a threat, she's just afraid something will happen to the dress.)
- The McCoy: Fluttershy insists on taking care of Philomeena despite the fact that she could potentially get into hot water with Celestia.
- Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Initially it appears that this is not going to fool Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy…
- Paper-Thin Disguise: …but then they fall for a fake mustache.
- Nurse with Good Intentions: Fluttershy.
- Off-Model: When the camera zooms in on Ms. Cake attending to Princess Celestia at the beginning of the episode, Ms. Cake appears to have her husband's cutie mark. This is corrected after the scene change.
- One-Scene Wonder : Anytime Rainbow Dash appears.
- The Phoenix: Philomeena, as it turns out.
- Pie in the Face: Pinkie provides a self-inflicted example.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Rarity wears the same dress that she later wears at the Gala.
- Poor Communication Kills: Fluttershy could have just asked Celestia if there was something wrong with the bird, or why it looked like it did.
- Then again, Celestia did rush off in a hurry. And, after all, this is Fluttershy we're talking about.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Just in case you forgot this about Celestia, she refers to an immortal being of myth as "young lady".
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Twilight and Fluttershy learn the lesson that they really shouldn't have assumed that Celestia isn't one of these.
- Celestia also has an earlier moment when she tries to eat a muffin (levitating it towards her mouth), only for Pinkie Pie to do this. And yes, Celestia lets her live after that.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: When Fluttershy and Twilight are chasing down Philomeena. With a Suspiciously Similar Song of Yakkity Sax playing in the background.
- May actually be a subtle subversion, as the characters always exit through the same side that they come out of.
- Serious Business: Mr. and Mrs. Cake take catering and baking for Celestia VERY seriously, at the point of using a military code to detect and identify… a tea cup that needed a refill. This actually gets on Celestia's nerves to the point she pulls a joke on them to get them to lighten up; a fake sip and they refill it only to spill it.
- Angel imitates the White Rabbit when reminding Fluttershy about the brunch with the princess, leading her to remark "I'm late! For a very important date!"
- Fluttershy's hummingbird friend is named Hummingway.
- Philomeena eats bird seed in a manner similar to The Roadrunner.
- The chase scene with Philomeena is similar to the ones on The Benny Hill Show.
- Spit Take: Delivered by Twilight, when Princess Celestia declares that she has to "cut the party short".
- Stock Sound Effect: Mrs. Cake's enormous gasp when Pinkie eats a cupcake that was for Princess Celestia is an exact copy of the huge one that Pinkie made in the first episode when she first saw Twilight.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Of "Yakkety Sax" during the Benny Hill-esque chase.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Fluttershy and Hummingway sing the theme tune, and try (unsuccessfully) to get Philomena to sing it as well!
- Troll: Philomeena did it for the lolz
- Visual Pun: At the party, Pinkie pieing herself in the face.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Philomeena, right into Fluttershy's face.
- Wanted Poster: Philomeena sneaks around drawing mustaches on one poster the Celestia's guards put up.
- We Could Have Avoided All This: Fluttershy puts herself (and Twilight, by extension) in a world of trouble by trying to heal Princess Celestia's sickly-looking pet bird without permission. We can thank her relentlessly caring nature for that. Celestia didn't get the chance until the end of the episode to tell her that Philomeena was a phoenix close to its death and rebirth. The Princess then almost quotes the trope by name, stating that Fluttershy could've simply asked her ahead of time and saved all the trouble.
- Wingding Eyes: Philomena gets first ice cubes for being cold and later the "dead Xs" version.